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How We Know Global Warming is Real

Tapio Schneider
Skeptic; 2008; 14, 1; Research Library
pg. 31
How We Know
Global ming is Real
The Science Behind
Human-induced Climate Change
ooncentrations are higher today than at any time
in at least the past 650,000 years. They are about
35% higher than before the industrial revolution,
and this increase is caused by human activities,
primarily the burning of fossil fuels.
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, as are
methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, and a host
of other trace gases. They occur naturally in the
atmosphere. Greenhouse gases act like a blanket
for infrared radiation, retaining radiative energy
near the swface that would otherwise escape
directly to space. An increase in atmospheric
ooncentrations of carlx>n dioxide and of other
greenhouse gases augments the natural green-
house effect; it increases the radiative energy
available to Earth's swface and to the lower
atmosphere. Unless oompensated for by other
processes, the increase in radiative energy avail-
able to the swface and the lower atmosphere
leads to warming. This we know. How do we
know it?
How do we know
c.tJon dioxide CCIIW06ilb&tloi have lnc18&11d?
The ooncentrations of carlx>n dioxide and other
greenhouse gases in atmospheric samples have
been measured oontinuously since the late 1950s.
Since then, carlx>n dioxide concentrations have
increased steadily from about 315 parts per mil-
lion (ppm, or molecules of carlx>n dioxide per
million molecules of dry air) in the late 1950s to
about 385 ppm now, with small spatial variations
away from major sources of emissions. For the
more distant past, we can measure atmospheric
ooncentrations of greenhouse gases in bubbles of
andent air preserved in ice (e.g., in Greenland
and Antarctica). Ice oore reoords currently go
back 650,000 years; over this period we know
that carlx>n dioxide ooncentrations have never
been higher than they are now. Before the
industrial revolution, they were about 280 ppm,
and they have varied naturally between about
180 ppm during ice ages and 300 ppm during
warm periods (Fig. 1). Concentrations of
methane and nitrous oxide have likewise
increased since the industrial revolution (Fig. 2)
and, for methane, are higher now than they have
been in the 650,000 years before the industrial
How do we know the I11C18&18 In c.taon dioxide
concenbatloi Is C8UI6d by human actlvltlel?
There are several lines of evidence. We know
approximately how much carlx>n dioxide is
emitted as a result of human activities. Adding
up the human sources of carbon dioxide-
primarily from fossil fuel burning, cement pro-
duction, and land use changes (e.g., deforesta-
tion}-one finds that only about half the carlx>n
dioxide emitted as a result of human activities
has led to an increase in atmospheric ooncentra-
tions. The other half of the emitted carlx>n diox-
ide has been taken up by oceans and the bios-
phere-where and how exacdy is not oomplete-
ly understood: there is a "missing carlx>n sink."
Human activities thus can account for the
increase in carbon dioxide concentrations.
Changes in the isotopic composition of carbon
dioxide show that the carbon in the added car-
bon dioxide derives largely from plant materi-
als, that is, from processes such as burning of
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300,000 200,000 100,000
biomass or fossil fuels, which are derived from
fossil plant materials. Minute changes in the
atmospheric concentration of oxygen show
that the added carbon dioxide derives from
burning of the plant materials. And concentra-
tions of carbon dioxide in the ocean have
increased along with the atmospheric concen-
trations, showing that the increase in atmos-
pheric carbon dioxide concentrations cannot
be a result of release from the oceans. All lines
of evidence taken together make it unambigu-
ous that the increase in atmospheric carbon
dioxide concentrations is human induced and
is primarily a result of fossil fuel burning.
(Similar reasoning can be evoked for other
greenhouse gases, but for some of those, such
as methane and nitrous oxide, their sources
are not as clear as those of carbon dioxide.)
How can auch a mklute III110U1t of carbon cloxlde
affect ndatMt energy balln:e?
Concentrations of carbon dioxide are meas-
ured in parts per million, those of methane
and nitrous oxide in parts per billion.
These are trace constituents of the atmos-
phere. Together with water vapor, they
account for less than 1% of the volume of
the atmosphere. And yet they are crucially
important for Earth's climate.
Earth's surface is heated by absorption of
solar (shortwave) radiation; it emits infrared
Clongwave) radiation, which would escape
almost directly to space if it were not for
350 Figure 1:
Carbon dioxide
concentrations In
Antarctica over
300 400,000 years.

"The graph combines
;;;: ice core data with recent
samples of Antarctic air.
The 100,QOO.year ice age

<U cycle is clearly recognizable.
(Data sources: Petit et al.
1999; Keeling and Whorf
200 2004; GLOBALVIEW-C02
water vapor and the other greenhouse gases.
Nitrogen and oxygen, which account for
about 99% of the volume of the atmosphere,
are essentially transparent to infrared radia-
tion. But greenhouse gases absorb infrared
radiation and re-emit it in all directions.
Some of the infrared radiation that would
otherwise directly escape to space is emitted
back toward the surface. Without this natural
greenhouse effect, primarily owing to water
vapor and carbon dioxide, Earth's mean sur-
face temperature would be a freezing -1 F,
instead of the habitable 59F we currently
enjoy. Despite their small amounts, then, the
greenhouse gases strongly affect Earth's tem-
perature. Increasing their concentration aug-
ments the natural greenhouse effect.
How do Increases
In greenhouse gas coocenbatlons
lead to surface temperature Increases?
Increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases
increases the atmosphere's "optical thickness" for
infrared radiation, which means that more of the
radiation that eventually does escape to space
comes from higher levels in the atmosphere. The
mean temperature at the level from which the
infrared radiation effectively escapes to space (the
emission level) is determined by the total amount
of solar radiation absorbed by Earth. The same
amount of energy Earth receives as solar radia-
tion, in a steady state, must be returned as
infrared radiation; the energy of radiation
VOLUME 14 NUMBER 1 2 0 0 8
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depends on the temperature at which it is emitted
and thus detennines the mean temperature at the
emission level. For Earth, this temperature is
-1 F-the mean temperature of the surface if the
atmosphere would not absorb infrared radiation.
Now, increasing greenhouse gas concentrations
implies raising the emission level at which, in the
mean, this temperature is attained. If the tempera-
ture decreases between the surface and this level
and its rate of decrease with height does not
Concentrations of Greenhouse Gases from 0 to 2000 C. E.
Figure 2--Greenhouse Gases Then and Now
The IPCC report caption for this graph reads:
"Atmospheric concentrations of important long-
lived greenhouse gases over the last 2,000
years. Increases since about 1750 are attrib-
uted to human activities in the industrial era.
Concentration units are parts per million (ppm)
or parts per billion (ppb), indicating the number
of molecules of the greenhouse gas per million
or billion air molecules, respectively, in an
atmospheric sample." (Graph is FAQ 2.1, Figure
1 from the IPCC Working Group 1 report. Data
combined and simplified from Chapters 6 and 2
of report.)
~ 3
- Carbon Dioxide (C02)
--Methane (CH4)
-Nitrous Oxide (N20)
-= 1400 :0
- c.
- 1200 :i
- u
0 500 1000
1500 2000
Figure 3-How We Know the Globe Is Wannlng
Evidence from multiple sources corroborate the fact
that the Earth is warming. The IPCC report caption for
this graph reads: "Published records of surface tem-
perature change over large regions. Koppen (1881)
tropics and temperate latitudes using land air tempera-
ture. Callendar (1938) global using land stations.
Willett (1950) global using land stations. Callendar
(1961) 60N to 60S using land stations. Mitchell
(1963) global using land stations. Budyko (1969)
Northern Hemisphere using land stations and ship
reports. Jones et al. (1986a,b) global using land sta-
tions. Hansen and Lebedeff (1987) global using land
stations. Brohan et al. (2006) global using land air
temperature and sea surface temperature data is the
longest of the currently updated global temperature
time series (Section 3.2). All time series were
smoothed using a 1 ~ i n t filter. The Brohan et al.
(2006) time series are anomalies from the 1961 to
1990 mean (
C). Each of the other time series was
originally presented as anomalies from the mean tem-
perature of a specific and differing base period. To
make them comparable, the other time series have
been adjusted to have the mean of their last 30 years
identical to that same period in the Brohan et al.
(2006) anomaly time series. (Graph is Figure 1.3
from the IPCC Working Group 1 report.
; ~
i ~
Global Temperature Time Series
- callendar 1938
-- Willett1950
- callendar 1961
- Buc:tyko 1969
--- Jooes et al. 1986
- HC11Se11 and Lebedeff 1987
- Brol1<r1 et al. 2006
1860 1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980
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FigUre 4 and 5-Two Cheers for the Greenhouse Effect
Some global warming is necessary in order to make the Earth habitable for
creatures like us. These two graphics show how it works. The IPCC caption
reads: "Estimate of the Earth's annual and global mean energy balance. Over
the long term, the amount of incoming solar radiation absorbed by the Earth
and atmosphere is balanced by the Earth and atmosphere releasing the same
amount of outgoing longwave radiation. About half of the incoming solar radi&
tion is absorbed by the Earth's surface. This energy is transferred to the
atmosphere by warming the air in contact with the surface (thermals), by evap-
otranspiration and by longwave radiation that is absorbed by clouds and green-
house gases. The atmosphere in turn radiates longwave energy back to Earth
as well as out to space." Source: Kiehl and Trenberth (1997). (Graphics are
FAQ 1.1, 1.3, Rgure 1 from the IPCC Report.)
change substantially, then the surface
temperature must increase as the emis-
sion level is raised. This is the green-
house effect. It is also the reason that
clear summer nights in deserts, under a
dry atmosphere, are colder than cloudy
summer nights on the U.S. east coast,
under a relatively moist atmosphere
(Figs. 4 and 5).
In fact, Earth surface temperatures
have increased by about 1.3F over
the past century (Fig. 3). The temper-
ature increase has been particularly
pronounced in the past 20 years (for
an illustration, see the animations of
temperature changes at -tapio/ discriminants/ anima-
tions.html). The scientific consensus
about the cause of the recent warm-
ing was summarized by the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) in 2007: "Most of the
observed increase in global average
temperatures since the mid-20th cen-
tury is very likely due to the observed
increase in anthropogenic greenhouse
gas concentrations. . .. The observed
widespread warming of the atmos-
phere and ocean, together with ice
mass loss, support the conclusion that
it is extremely unlikely that global cli-
mate change of the past 50 years can
be explained without external forcing,
and very likely that it is not due to
known natural causes alone."
The IPCC conclusions rely on cli-
mate simulations with computer mod-
els (Fig. 6). Based on spectroscopic
measurements of the optical proper-
ties of greenhouse gases, we can cal-
culate relatively accurately the impact
increasing concentrations of green-
house gases have on Earth's radiative
energy balance. For example, the
radiative forcing owing to increases in
the concentrations of carbon dioxide,
methane, and nitrous oxide in the
industrial era is about 2.3 Watts per
square meter. (This is the change in
radiative energy fluxes in the lower
troposphere before temperatures have
adjusted.) We need computer models
2 0 0 8
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to translate changes in the radiative energy bal-
ance into changes in temperature and other cli-
mate variables because feedbacks in the cli-
mate system render the climate response to
changes in the atmospheric composition com-
plex, and because other human emissions
(smog) also affect climate in complex ways. For
example, as the surface and lower atmosphere
warm in response to increases in carbon diox-
ide concentrations, the atmospheric concentra-
tion of water vapor near the surface increases
as well. That this has to happen is well estab-
lished on the basis of the energy balance of the
surface and relations between evaporation rates
and the relative humidity of the atmosphere (it
is not directly, as is sometimes stated, a conse-
quence of higher evaporation rates).
Water vapor, however, is a greenhouse gas in
itself, and so it amplifies the temperature
response to increases in carbon dioxide concen-
trations and leads to greater surface warming
than would occur in the absence of water vapor
feedback. Other feedbacks that must be taken
into account in simulating the climate response
to changes in atmospheric composition involve,
for example, changes in cloud cover, dynamical
changes that affect the rate at which temperature
decreases with height and hence affect the
strength of the greenhouse effect, and surface
changes (e.g., loss of sea ice). Current climate
models, with Newton's laws of motion and the
laws of thermodynamics and radiative transfer at
their core, take such processes into account.
They are able to reproduce, for example, Earth's
seasonal cycle if all such processes are taken into
account but not, for example, if water vapor
feedback is neglected. The IPCC's conclusion is
based on the fact that these models can only
match the observed climate record of the past 50
years if they take human-induced changes in
atmospheric composition into account. They fail
to match the observed record if they only model
natural variability, which may include, for exam-
ple, climate responses to fluctuations in solar
radiation (Fig. 7).
Climate feedbacks are the central source of
scientific (as opposed to socio-economic) uncer-
tainty in climate projections. The dominant
source of uncertainty are cloud feedbacks, which
are incompletely understood. The area covered
- by low stratus clouds may increase or decrease
as the climate warms. Because stratus clouds are
The World In Global Climate Models
Figure 6--The History of Climate Models. The IPCC caption reads: "The
complexity of climate models has increased over the last few decades.
The additional physics incorporated in the models are shown pictorially by
the different features of the modelled world." (Graphic is Rgure 1.2 from
the IPCC Report.)
low, they do not have a strong greenhouse effect
(the strength of the greenhouse effect depends
on the temperature difference between the sur-
face and the level from which infrared radiation
is emitted, and this is small for low clouds); how-
ever, they reflect sunlight, and so exert a cooling
effect on the surface, as anyone knows who has
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Global and Continental Temperature Change
f 10
~ ~ ~ ~
1900 1950
---- observations
- models using only natural forcings
I! 0.5
t 0.0
Global Land
models using both natural and anthropogenic forcings
2000 1900
Global Ocean
Figure 7-Giobal and Continental Temperature Change. The IPCC caption reads: "Comparison of observed continental- and glob-
al-scale changes in surface temperature with results simulated by climate models using either natural or both natural and anthro-
pogenic forcings. Decadal averages of observations are shown for the period 1906-2005 (black line) plotted against the center of
the decade and relative to the corresponding average for the period 1901-1950. Lines are dashed where spatial coverage is less
than 50%. Darker shaded bands show the 5 to 95% range for 19 simulations from five climate models using only the natural
forcings due to solar activity and volcanoes. Lighter shaded bands show the 5 to 95% range for 58 simulations from 14 climate
models using both natural and anthropogenic forcings." (Graphic is Rgure SPM.4 from the IPCC Report.)
VOLUME 14 NUMBER 2 0 0 8
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been near southern California's coast on an over-
cast spring morning. If their area coverage
increases as greenhouse gas concentrations
increase, the sutface temperature response will
be muted; if their area coverage decreases, the
sutface temperature response will be amplified. It
is currently unclear how these clouds respond to
climate change, and climate models simulate
widely varying responses. Other major uncertain-
ties include the effects of aerosols (smog) on
clouds and the radiative balance and, on
timescales longer than a few decades, the
response of ice sheets to changes in temperature.
Uncertainties notwithstanding, it is clear that
increases in greenhouse gas concentrations, in
the global mean, will lead to warming. Although
climate models differ in the amount of warming
they project, in its spatial distribution, and in
other more detailed aspects of the climate
response, all climate models that can reproduce
observed characteristics such as the seasonal
cycle project warming in response to the increas-
es in greenhouse gas concentrations that are
expected in the coming decades as a result of
continued burning of fossil fuels and other
human activities such as tropical deforestation.
The projected consequences of the increased
concentrations of greenhouse gases have been
widely publicized. Global-mean sutface tempera-
tures are likely to increase by 2.0 to 11.5F by
the year 2100, with the uncertainty range reflect-
ing scientific uncertainties (primarily about
clouds) as well as socio-economic uncertainties
(primarily about the rate of emission of green-
house gases over the 21st century). Land areas
are projected to warm faster than ocean areas.
The risk of summer droughts in mid-continental
regions is likely to increase. Sea level is projected
to rise, both by thermal expansion of the warm-
ing oceans and by melting of land ice.
Less widely publicized but important for poli-
cy considerations are projected very long-term
climate changes, of which some already now are
unavoidable. Even if we were able to keep the
atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration fixed
at its present level-this would require an imme-
diate and unrealistically drastic reduction in emis-
sions--the Earth sutface would likely warm by
another 0.9-2.5F over the next centuries. The
oceans with their large thermal and dynamic
inertia provide a buffer that delays the response
of the sutface climate to changes in greenhouse
gas concentrations. The oceans will continue to
warm over about 500 years. Their waters will
expand as they warm, causing sea level rise. Ice
sheets are thought to respond over timescales of
centuries, though this is challenged by recent
data from Greenland and Antarctica, which show
evidence of a more rapid, though possibly tran-
sient, response. Their full contribution to sea
level rise will take centuries to manifest. Studies
of climate change abatement policies typically
end in the year 2100 and thus do not take into
account that most of the sea level rise due to the
emission of greenhouse gases in the next 100
years will occur decades and centuries later. Sea
level is projected to rise 0.2-0.6 meters by the
year 2100, primarily as a result of thermal expan-
sion of the oceans; however, it may eventually
reach values up to several meters higher than
today when the disintegration of glaciers and ice
sheets contributes more strongly to sea level rise.
(A sea level rise of 4 meters would submerge
much of southern Florida.)
Certainties and Uncertainties
While there are uncertainties in climate projec-
tions, it is important to realize that the climate pro-
jections are based on sound scientific principles,
such as the laws of thermodynamics and radiative
transfer, with measurements of optical properties
of gases. The record of past climate changes that
can be inferred, for example, with geochemical
methods from ice cores and ocean sediment
cores, provides tantalizing hints of large climate
changes that occurred over Earth's history, and it
poses challenges to our understanding of climate
(for example, there is no complete and commonly
accepted explanation for the cycle of ice ages and
warm periods). However, climate models are not
empirical, based on correlations in such records,
but incorporate our best understanding of the
physical, chemical, and biological processes being
modeled. Hence, evidence that temperature
changes precede changes in carbon dioxide con-
centrations in some climate changes on the
timescales of ice ages, for example, only shows
that temperature changes can affect the atmos-
pheric carbon dioxide concentrations, which in
tum feed back on temperature changes. Such evi-
dence does not invalidate the laws of thermody-
namics and radiative transfer, or the conclusion
that the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations
in the past decades is human induced. T
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lk w..m H. Calvin is a theoretical
neurobiologist, Affiliate Professor of
Ps)l::hiatry and Behavioral Sciences at
the University of Washil't00 in
Seattle. He is the author of a dozen
books, mostly for general readers,
about brains and EM>Iution. The last is
A Brief History of the Mind: From Apes
to Intellect and Be}ood. Out in paper-
back is A Brain for All Seasons:
Human Evolution and Abrupt Climate
Charge, about paleoanthropology,
paleoclimate, and considerations from
neurobiology and evolutionary biology,
which won the 2002 Phi Beta Kappa
book award for science. His book with
Derek Bickerton, UfWUB ex Machina:
Reconc/lif'W Darwin and Chomsky with
the Human Brain, is about the evolu-
tion of structured His latest
book from which this excerpt carne is
Global Fever: How to Treat Climate
Charge, which combines his studies
of climate chaf'e and human action.
Dr. Katlwyn Coe has a Ph.D. in cultural
anthropology and evolutionary biology
and is affiliated with both the College
of Public Health and the Arizona
cancer Center at the University of
Arizona. Coe has over thirty years'
experience conductill! health research
with African Americans, Hispanics/
lstinos, and American Indians. She
has been Primary Investigator on a
number of funded projects and is cur-
rently Primary Investigator of the large
regional Southwest American Indian
Cancer Network want, housed at the
Inter Tribal Council of Arizona. She has
published a book and numerous aJ1i.
cles on culture.
lk Sid DeutKh earned a Ph.D. from
Polytechnic Unillersity and was
ated with the Electrical fll!ineerill!
department there from 1951-1972,
after which he was at Rutgers
University, Tel-Aviv University ,
and finally the Unillersity of South
Aorida in Tampa. Dr. Deutsch is the
author of Models of the Nervous
System, Return of the Ether. Are You
Conscious, and Can You Prove It?,
and is co-author of Biomedical
Instruments: Theory and Design and
Understandif'W the Nervous System:
An rllneeritW Perspective. He is a
Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and
Electronics fll!ineers and of the
Society for Information Display.
Alee Fltedernlla1 is a systems
teet for a large international transport&
tion company, has a B.S. in biology with
a chemistry /physics minor from the
University of Illinois, Champaign-
Urbana, and is a free-lance science
writer and member of the Northern
california Science Writers Association.
Dr. Steve Fuler is Professor of
Sociology at the Unillersity of Warwick.
Originally trained in history and philoso-
phy of science, he is most closely
associated with the feild of "social
epistemology" which is also the name
of a joumal he founded and the title of
the first of his fifteen books. He is cur-
rently President of the Sociology seo-
tion of the British Association for the
Advancement of Science.
Dr. Nomwo Levitt is a topologist in the
Mathematics Department of Rutgers
Unillersity. He is the author of
Prometheus Bedeviled and co-author of
Higher Superstition, in addition to many
other articles on popular comprehen-
sion of science. In recent years, he
has spoken on and off campus at
George Mason law School, the New
School University, the Institute for
Advanced Study, City College of New
York, the Foundation for the Future,
Williams College, BBC Radio, the New
Engiand Skeptics, and the Institute of
Ideas (among others). His current prot-
ects include pieces on the Sokal Affair
and the penetration of pseudoscience
into popular accounts
In addition, he is editill! a compendium
on the Science Wars and writill! an
underWadUate text on the foundations
of analysis.
Dr. Craig T. Palmer is an Assistant
Professor in the Department of
Anthropology at the University of
Missouri at Columbia. He received
his Ph.D. in cultural anthropology
from Arizona State University in
1988. He performs fieldwork in
Newfoundland, Canada, and has
published widely on religion, sexual
aggression, and ecology.
Steven Rivkin has written for the
Society of American Magicians
(MUM) and in Vibrations for the
Psychic Entertainers Association
(PEA). Last year he wrote a series
for the PEA called "Bob Nelson's
Corner. He lately has been writing
for Oracle, a newer magic journal
for storytelling magicians and spirit
magic. All his magic writings have
been under his old performinmg
name of Stefan Dardik. He collects
and studies specialized magic his-
tory and stlance history.
For over 25 years Steve Salerno
has perpetrated investigative and fea-
ture journalism for publications
includill! Harper's, The New }brk Times
Mcgazine, Esquire, PIB}boy. The
Street Journal, The WashifWton Post.
Magazine and others. His book,
SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement
Made America Helpless (Crown),
explored the $10 billion American self-
help movement He is now workill! on
a book about vanity's role in American
life. He welcomes comments on his
Dr. Taplo Schneider is a professor
of Environmental Science and
Engineering at Caltech, where he con-
ducts research on the dynamics of
the Earth climate and of the global cir-
culation of the atmosphere; global
mate changes; turbulence and turbu-
lent transport in the atmosphere and
oceans. His research, which uses
simulations with climate models of
various complexity, and analyses of
observational data, focuses on the
development of theories of the turbu-
lent fluxes of heat, mass, and water
vapor that maintain the global-scale
climate. Such theories help us under-
stand the changes in the atmospheric
climate that occurred over the Earth s
history and that are likely to occur in
the future.
Dr. Reed L. Wadley is Assistant
Professor of Anthropology at the
versity of He has
been Research Fellow at the Inter-
national Institute for Asian Studies
(Netheriands) and Associate Scientist
with the Center for International
Forestry Research (Indonesia). His pub-
lications include "lethal Treachery and
the Imbalance of Power in Warfare and
Feudill!" (Journal of Anthropo/ogical
Researr:h, 2003), "Sacred forest, hunt-
ill!. and conservation in West
Kalimantan, Indonesia" (Human
Eco/qfy; 2004) with Carol Colfer, and
"Religious Scepticism and its Social
Context: An Analysis of lban
Shamanism" (Anthf'OPO/CIieal Forum,
2005) with Af'ela Pashia and Craig
.JemPaU Buquat is a free lance illus-
trator whose work appears in mag&
zines and newspapers in Europe and in
the USA. For the last five years he has
also been workill! with companies to
help them dellelop visual trainill! pro-
grams. His clients include Canal+, Air
Inter Le Credit Suisse. He is a frequent
contributor to the Journal de Geneve
and the Los Arge/es Times.
Tim Callahan is religious editor of
SKEPTIC. His books include Bible
Prophecy: Failure or Fulfillment?
and Secret Origins Of the Bible,
both published by Millennium
Press. He has also researched the
environmental movement, and his
article "Environmentalists Cause
Malarial (and other myths of the
'Wise Use' movement)" appeared
in The Humanist.
Dr. Hanlet Hall, MD, is a retired
Air Force flight surgeon and family
physician living in Puyallup,
Washington. She has researched
extensively alternative medicine
and has written about it in SKEPTIC,
Skeptical Inquirer, and The
Scientific Review of Alternative
Medicine, as well as on the
Quackwatch website. The SkepDoc
can be reached at
Pat Unse is an award winning illus-
trator who specialized in film indus-
try art before becoming one of the
founders of the Skeptics Society,
SKEPTIC, and the creator of JR.
SKEPTIC magazine. As SKEPTIC'S art
director she has created many
illustrations for both SKEPTIC and JR.
SKEPTIC. She is co-editor of the
Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience.
Daniel Loxton was a professional
shepherd for nine years before he
became editor of JUNIOR SKEPTIC. He
illustrates and authors most of the
current JUNIOR SKEPTIC material. He
is currently working with Pat Linse
to create the Baloney Detection
Series-a richly illustrated kids'
science book series based on
MacArthur "genius award" recipient
....,_ Rlnll is a professional magi-
cian, author, lecturer, and investigator
of unusual claims. His books include
The Mask of Nostradamus, The Faith
Healers, RimRam/, The Truth About Uri
Geller, Houdini-His Ufe and Art. and
Corjurirg He has recently po..tllished
An Enc}dopedia of Claims, Frauds, &
Hoaxes of the Occult & Supematuta/.
He to numerous humanist and
scientific organizations and was recent-
ly wanted an honorary doctorate. Mr.
Randi has logged over 100,000 miles
a year in his research into pseudo-
science. Isaac Asimov called Randi "a
national treasure, and Cali Sagan said
of him: "We may disagree with Randi
on specific points but we ignore him at
our peril."
Dr. Mchaal Sllelna is po..tllisher of
SKEPnc, Director of the Skeptics Society,
and a monthly columnist and Contribut-
ill! Editor of Scientific American. He is
author of Matters, The
Science of Good and evil, In Darwin's
Shadow: The Ufe and Science of Alfred
Russel The Borderlands Of
Science, How Beliel!e,
History. and Beliel!e
For 20 years he tqTt ps)dlOI-
ogy, the history of science, and the his-
tory of ideas at Occidental College,
California State UnNersity, Los Af'eles,
and Glendale College.